Me and Pete have been trying to escape to the hills for an overnighter for a while now with various dates almost happening but then not and then almost happening again etc… you get the idea.
And so yesterday, despite some nasty weather predictions, we finally got our shit together and made a run for it…
I was allowed out to play earlier than him and so I rode from home (using the tiniest of assists in the form of an uplift) whilst making my way from Les Houches to St Gervais in time to meet Pete.
The descent to St Gervais is brilliant and each time I do it I swear that I’ll ride it more often and then I promptly forget all about it until the next time – I ain’t so smart!
We then got another lift up the mountain, ditching our bags at the halfway point so that we could do a quick loop of the downhill track before grabbing our kit and riding back up the mountain to our vaguely planned bivi location.
The downhill loop was as lovely, twisty and whoopy as we’d hoped and before long we were making our way slowly back up to about 1600m to find somewhere to pitch our tents.
We both packed our little one man tents in order to survive the alpine storms that have been sweeping through the area of an evening and we were not disappointed!
We found a nice bit of flat grass behind a closed up ski/winter restaurant which we hoped would afford us a little wind/rain break should the weather close in and promptly got our tents up, chicken curry rehydrated and opened a couple of cans of fine quality crafty beer – win!
Beers were drunkened, chat was chatted and then we got ourselves a respectably early night.
But nature had plans other than sleeping for me unfortunately!
About 01:00 the heavens opened just as I was finally dropping off after being unable to sleep. But not to worry as my tent is nicely waterproof and I really enjoy listening to the rain on the tent roof – very soothing.
After the rain I began to realise that the temperature was dropping way lower than I’d anticipated and that my pathetic summer quilt was not going to cut the mustard – arse! And so I donned every piece of clothing I brought with me (not very much!) and shivered my way fitfully through the night.
I was finally warming up enough to get some sleep as it was time to get up and so we packed up some very wet kit and shot down to town (losing a very fun +800m in altitude on the way) and were home and ready to work by 08:00.
A splendid time was had by both and I’m already looking forward to plotting the next little escape (though I’ll take a much warmer sleep system next time.).